Eight months ago, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and PSA Group announced they would join forces for a 50-50 merger of the two auto manufacturers’ businesses. On July 15, the companies announced a new corporate group name for the combined companies: Stellantis.
The new name will not be appear on vehicles, and will instead be used only as a corporate brand name for the combined companies. According to a joint statement from Peugeot SA and Fiat Chrysler, the names and logos of their respective brands will remain unchanged. A logo for the newly announced corporate brand has yet to be released.
The new automotive group will be led by current Peugeot CEO Carlos Tavares and Fiat Chairman John Elkann and will form the world’s fourth-largest automotive manufacturer. As of December 2019, estimates for the companies’ combined value reached about $47 billion, larger than that of Ford Motor Co and approaching that of Volkswagen AG.
The name “Stellantis,” according to the joint statement, comes from a Latin verb, “stello,” “meaning ‘to brighten with stars.’” The use of the ancient language is appropriate, the statement said, as it expresses optimism while paying tribute to “the rich history of its founding companies.” This may be a nod to two families, one from each company with known histories in auto manufacturing. Elkann, from Fiat, is the chosen heir to the Agnelli family of Italy; Stellaris will combine their enterprise with that of the Peugeot family.
The global impact of the coronavirus pandemic has not altered the expected timetable for the merger to complete: A statement issued by both companies revealing the corporate brand reiterated that the deal should be completed in the first quarter of 2021.